Data sharing is a complex business ecosystem where data generators, aggregators and services providers compete to capture the value of data produced by smartphones, cars, public transport and micro mobility shared services. What insights can we gain through the analysis of 37 companies? How connected is the information market to the transport service market?
Last spring, with colleagues in MobiDataLab project we realised a market study on mobility data sharing. The objective was to give a description of how the market is structured, which are the main competition arenas, who are the players and which are their strategies. Before the study is released I share here some insights.
Defining mobility data and identifying players
Mobility data can be defined in different ways and for our study we relied on previous definitions and selected the following : vehicle location, environment, maps, payment, vehicle usage, static infrastructure, dynamic infrastructure, ticketing, user-generated data.
To identify the type of companies relevant for our study we used the value chain approach and selected companies which offered a service at one or several value chain components: generation, collection, analysis, and exchange.
When we started the study, it was clear that it was difficult to give an exhaustive and complete view of the market, both in terms of the number of companies analysed and in terms of the level of information for each. First, the list of companies active in the field is significant and changes frequently: new companies are created, others terminated, and others change their positioning. Second, the information available on each company is not homogenous – indeed, some, having strict confidentiality concerns, are reluctant to provide detailed information on their activities.
That’s why we decided to analyse a sample of companies to describe the market and analysed 37 products, services and platforms. We looked at the data they provide or aggregate and the components of the value chain they offer. We also collected information on their mobility domain focus, revenue source, geographical footprint, data providers and users, onboarding process, data re- use terms, data storage location, GDPR compliance.
Insights from the study
Integrated strategy is the most adopted. The majority of the organisations we analysed cover each of the first three parts of the value chain (generation, collection and analysis). Few of them position as marketplaces and enable their data providers to monetize their data with data consumers. Some organisations act as technical enablers to support data sharing.
Intense competition level. Within each of the value chain component companies are competing. Data generators compete with each other. For example, OEMs and Telecommunication companies compete on mobility data. Similarly, cartographic data providers compete on the mapping offer. Analytics software providers also compete on a similar value proposition for the same type of clients. In addition, competition is fierce between companies having an integrated approach on several value chain components. These companies own or have access to relevant data for mobility and offer standard or customised data and analytics services. You can see also the previous article How to choose a data monetisation strategy.
Different types of aggregators. These companies own or have access to relevant data for mobility and offer standard or customized data and analytics services. Some choose to rely on a proprietary and exclusive data source (for example Geotab), Others blend their proprietary data with other data (Here), Others source different mobility data and aggregate them in a service (Map Box, Carto and Inrix).
Heterogeneous availability of data. Vehicle location data, cartographic data and static infrastructure data are the most commonly available data. On the contrary, payment, ticketing, environment, and dynamic infrastructure data are less easily available.
Lack of transport modes integration. A strong business ecosystem has developed around connected car data with some players specialising on this data source to develop digital services or analytics solutions. For the clients of these organisations the possibility to aggregate other vehicles data is limited. A similar trend can be observed in the context of public transport data. Organisations aggregating multiple types of vehicles (cars and public transport, for example) are of two types: mapping services which provide journey planning with data they own, access, or buy and software which do not provide data but allows users to aggregate their data and build customised data services.
Multiplicity of data sharing governance systems. Many of the companies which position as aggregators or analytics service providers use open data sources as OpenStreetMap. Collaboration occurs also between companies when some sell data to others. We only had a partial view on these practices as this information is not public and some companies declared using other data without explicitly naming their partners. Interestingly, some data exchanges between organisations are not monetized. Some collaborations are settled by barters, for example, the Waze for Cities program by Waze. You can see also the article 5 questions to frame a data sharing opportunity. Also 3 ways to use open data to increase your competitive advantage.
A door open to the mobility service market
Mobility data sharing is quite a dynamic market. The data generated grow significantly bigger, the technical solutions to share them are more robust, the use cases are clearer. Even though we didn’t measure precisely the monetary value of this market, the signs are clear. Selling mobility data and the services required to share and use it is a big and growing market.
Through the analysis, it became clear that the opportunity associated with mobility data sharing was not limited to the market for information but was extended to the mobility service market.
Aggregators are becoming distributors of mobility services. Aggregating data from multiple mobility solutions is a first step to offer them in a market place or in an integrated service. Mobility data sharing market has then a direct influence on the mobility market itself and the way data is shared (or not) has an influence on the usage of the various mobility services aggregated in a data sharing platform. In addition, some data generators aggregate other data to limit the competition from aggregators on both the mobility data sharing market and the mobility market.
Mobility data sharing is a two-layers business opportunity: the market for information and the market for transport service. That’s why mobility service providers are competing on data between each other and against aggregators. Mastering data is a way to master the mobility service market.